Maginnis: You can bet China pulling Kim's strings

by: Chad Groening
Published: May 21, 2018

A national security analyst suspects that Beijing is influencing North Korea's dictator over a planned face-to-face meeting with Donald Trump.

In a state-run news story from Pyongyang, the U.S. learned May 15 that North Korea had cancelled high-level talks with South Korea over joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, which the reclusive regime always views as invasion rehearsals.  

Trump and Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet June 12 in Singapore but that historic meeting is reportedly also in jeopardy after a North Korean official complained about a "one-sided" summit with the two leaders.

U.S. officials were reportedly caught off guard by the comments but Trump downplayed the threats when he spoke to the media days afterward.  

Observing this high-stakes, back-and-forth game, Bob Maginnis of The Family Research Council tells OneNewsNow that he suspects China is pulling the political strings for its neighbor. 

"President Xi is basically his mentor," Maginnis says of the young North Korean dictator, "and is trying to redirect the young man into a more pragmatic approach so that he ends up, after all this, with a better deal than he currently has."

Kim made a surprise trip to neighboring China in April to meet with President Xi, which was viewed by analysts as preparation - and likely orders from China - for the June meeting with Trump.

China and North Korea likely feel they have been on the "receiving end" of negotiations with the U.S. and South Korea so far, says Maginnis, "and I think that Xi says that just won't work."

Trump has stated publicly that the U.S. is seeking "denuclearization" of North Korea and the U.S. is offering economic assistance it that happens.  

Maginnis also predicts it's a 50-50 chance the historic meeting will take place next month.

"I think that unless there's some spice added to this that favors their position," he says, "that you're going to find that [Kim] will be unwilling to be on the giving end for everything."

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